Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce had enough time to shower, dress and leave the building before the final buzzer sounded.

The Knicks found a way to silence Garnett and Pierce and in the process moved one step closer to advancing out of the first round for the first time since 2000.

Carmelo Anthony nearly outscored Boston in the second half as the Knicks shut down the offensively-challenged Celtics for the second straight game and captured Game 2, 87-71. The Knicks lead the best-of-seven-series 2-0 with Game 3 scheduled for Friday in Boston.

Anthony scored 19 of his 34 points in the second half as the Knicks overcame an 8-point second quarter deficit. Anthony departed with 3:13 remaining and a few minutes after Garnett and Pierce took a seat for good in the fourth quarter.

Garnett, who was called for five fouls in 23 minutes, finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Pierce finished with 18 points on 8-for-19 shooting.

J.R. Smith scored 19 for the Knicks while Raymond Felton continues to dominate his point guard match-up, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Knicks, who had trailed 42-34 with four minutes remaining in the first half, entered the final period leading 74-59. That 40-17 run said so much about both teams; the Celtics have a nasty habit of going into prolonged scoring droughts while Anthony has the ability to flip the switch and start scoring at will.